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    • bpobpo
    • By bpobpo 14th Apr 19, 3:34 PM
    • 3Posts
    • 1Thanks
    bpobpo
    Debt Fraud, Help!!
    • #1
    • 14th Apr 19, 3:34 PM
    Debt Fraud, Help!! 14th Apr 19 at 3:34 PM
    Hello,

    Firstly I hope this is in the correct forum, if not apologies.

    Giving a small bit of background around 18 months ago I became aware of a number of debt collection agencies who had traced me to a new address once I had returned from a few months abroad for work.

    Multiple online credit accounts (mainly catalouge accounts) had been created, some upto 9 years ago all in my name.

    These were registered to my old address and only now after whoever had fraudulently opened them had defaulted on them all have I become aware after the original accounts had been sold to debt collectors.

    I presume that letters/communications had gone to either the registered address or one of my previous address's (I move regularly for work) and only now had I finally been reached.

    Having contacted these companies with my surprise, details were passed to me regarding the accounts.

    Balances varied from the hundreds to the thousands. The pattern was similar, they were opened, orders made, payments made (sometimes for several years) before for whatever reason, the payments stopped resulting in this situation.

    All but two of these accounts were opened AFTER I had moved from the registered address. I have over the last year managed to painfully prove this and the debts accounts have been thankfully closed.

    I am however still battling two accounts that were allegedly opened whilst I was still showing on the electoral roll for the address they were opened at.

    These debts are now 'owned' by the same solicitor debt group and to be honest I am going around in circles with them and now am at my wit ends with what to do. Despite my appeals I am now being threatened with them going to court and issuing me with a CCJ's.

    I should probably add that the address associated was what I considered my family home throughout my teenage years. My childhood wasn't a great one and as soon as I could I moved out and managed this just before my 19th birthday. I had multiple siblings (all older) all living here along with two cousins and of course both parents. Logically it is one of these that is responsible for the debts but how I prove this I dont know.

    I am sad to say I have no interaction with any of my immediate family now, in fact I haven't spoken to anyone apart from an older sister for the last 5 years. This is for personal reasons based on life choices I made however is not linked to an financial reasons if that makes sense.

    The debt company making my life hell has confirmed that the accounts were opened whilst I was still living at the address they were created form.They were both infact opened within the last few months of me living there.

    Orders were made for the next SEVEN years before payments were starting to be missed. Apparently I had an email exchange with the company to arrange a payment plan (no I didn't...) but after around a year this stopped and so the debt selling process began.

    I have asked for details regarding who was making the payments. This question has never been answered. Instead I was given pages of statements showing orders for all sorts of items and payments being made. Unfortunately no further info was given.

    I have confirmed that the phone and email accounts on record do not belong to me (the phone number seemingly doesn't exist).

    In writing I have explained this to the company but I never get anywhere other than as far as they are concerned, I am responsible for the debt. I have even proved that when orders have been made, I haven't even been in the country but again, this has not helped.

    Obviously this whole ordeal has destroyed my credit rating. Equifax and others have been helpful and have placed markers on my account as well as registering me with CIFAS.

    Before this all came to light I had never needed credit so had never so much as checked a credit report.

    It will likely take me some time to get myself into a position where I can even consider things like getting mortgage, something that before this mess was discovered may have been on the cards this year.

    I reported this matter with Action Fraud a while ago. After about a month I got a letter saying that unfortunately on the information given, this matter would not be reported as a crime?!

    I then went to my local police station who directed me to contact the police force where this fraud took place. I did that only to be told to report it top Action Fraud, so no help there at all.

    I now do not know what to do.

    I have just been removed from a promotion process at work for a job that by all accounts I was told was mine, This is due to failing a financial vetting check even though I attempted to explain everything to my employer when making the application.

    Attempts to contact family members who I believe may be responsible have proved unsuccessful, in fact all family members have seemingly forgot who I am.

    The stress all this is causing, I honestly cant emphasis in writing.

    Edit:
    Sorry for the long post. I hope it makes sense, I was almost in tears typing it. As I said, I dont know what else to do!.
    Last edited by bpobpo; 14-04-2019 at 3:36 PM. Reason: Addition.
Page 1
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 14th Apr 19, 7:34 PM
    • 17,006 Posts
    • 16,023 Thanks
    sourcrates
    • #2
    • 14th Apr 19, 7:34 PM
    • #2
    • 14th Apr 19, 7:34 PM
    Hi,

    Report to Action fraud, get crime reference numbers, write to each creditor explaining the situation, that’s your first step.

    Take advice from AF on how to stop this happening again, and how to deal with the current creditors.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File And Ratings, and
    Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. "I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly".

    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, or, CAB.
    • bpobpo
    • By bpobpo 14th Apr 19, 9:54 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    bpobpo
    • #3
    • 14th Apr 19, 9:54 PM
    • #3
    • 14th Apr 19, 9:54 PM
    I appreciate your reply.

    Unfortunately I have already reported this to Action Fraud. As above, about a month after doing so I received a generic looking letter stating that after looking at my report, they were unable to record it as a crime.

    There was very little information as to why. This had me go directly to the police whose only advice was to report to Action Fraud. When I explained I had already done this and they had closed the report, the police said there was clearly insufficient evidence so if action fraud werenít doing anything, either were they.

    I feel as if Iím banging my head against a wall now.
    • WhenIam64
    • By WhenIam64 14th Apr 19, 11:33 PM
    • 381 Posts
    • 188 Thanks
    WhenIam64
    • #4
    • 14th Apr 19, 11:33 PM
    • #4
    • 14th Apr 19, 11:33 PM
    Despite my appeals I am now being threatened with them going to court and issuing me with a CCJ's.
    You can be taken to court. Anyone can for any reason but you can't get an automatic CCJ on their say so.

    I have over the last year managed to painfully prove this and the debts accounts have been thankfully closed.
    So you tell them to take you to court and you do the same in court as you have done here. You prove they were not your debts. The matter is then closed.

    The problem you have is that you are not being robust enough in denying they are your debts. I don't know which "solicitor debt group" you are referring to, but threats of a CCJ are a lot cheaper than having to go to court where they have to prove it is your debt, rather than the other way around. It is up to the claimant to prove their case on the balance of probabilities so you are ahead when it comes to court.
    Unlike some here, I am not omniscient. If I am wrong correct me. I won't take offence.
    • unicornrose2804
    • By unicornrose2804 15th Apr 19, 8:22 AM
    • 46 Posts
    • 118 Thanks
    unicornrose2804
    • #5
    • 15th Apr 19, 8:22 AM
    • #5
    • 15th Apr 19, 8:22 AM
    This happened to my husband. we rang action fraud and got a reference number. We then sent a letter to all the debt collection agencies with a copy of a bank statement showing our new address dated before the debt was taken out and sent them the reference number and the majority of them closed the account straight away. We have one who wont accept the proof but everytime we get in contact we just send them the same stuff!

    you have to make sure you strongly deny the debts and prove that you were not living at the address at the time the debt was taken out.
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 15th Apr 19, 11:10 AM
    • 17,006 Posts
    • 16,023 Thanks
    sourcrates
    • #6
    • 15th Apr 19, 11:10 AM
    • #6
    • 15th Apr 19, 11:10 AM
    I reported this matter with Action Fraud a while ago. After about a month I got a letter saying that unfortunately on the information given, this matter would not be reported as a crime?!
    Originally posted by bpobpo
    I appreciate your reply.

    Unfortunately I have already reported this to Action Fraud. As above, about a month after doing so I received a generic looking letter stating that after looking at my report, they were unable to record it as a crime.

    I feel as if I’m banging my head against a wall now.
    Originally posted by bpobpo

    Hi,


    Yes i see now you included that in your original post, appologies.

    It seems to me that you are dancing to the solicitors tune far too much here, who is this solicitor company by the way, Lowell, shoesmiths, Cabot ?

    Please feel free to name them here.

    It is a very difficult situation you are in, and especially when it involves a family member commiting identity fraud against you.


    However, you must approach this in the right way, the onus of proof is on the debt collector, not you, you need to send a formal written complaint to the companies concerned, mark your letter "COMPLAINT", also look up there complaints procedure on their website.


    Inform them that, whilst you do not deny the accounts in your name exist, you do deny that you were responcible for opening them, you believe it was another family member using your details, you have already provided evidence that you were not living at that address when the majority of orders were made, and on occasions you were even out of the country, so invite them to either, start court proceedings straight away, so the matter can be concluded to your satisfaction, or, remove your details from there systems and never contact you about this matter again.

    Basically its calling there bluff, these tame DCA solicitors only like cases they can win easily and cheaply, if a case looks like it could get complicated, by the defendant standing up and refusing to roll over for example, it might make them think twice about taking further action, they like fast results these people, they do not want to get bogged down in legal arguments, that will end up costing them more money.

    If you follow this advice its very likley they could take you to court, a double bluff if you like, but its more likley they will take a commercial decision and, whilst not admiting they were wrong, drop the whole thing.

    Personally court would be my preference, it would be decided one way or another, and i think you have a good defence with a reasonable chance of success.
    Last edited by sourcrates; 15-04-2019 at 11:14 AM.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File And Ratings, and
    Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. "I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly".

    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, or, CAB.
    • bpobpo
    • By bpobpo 15th Apr 19, 10:34 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    bpobpo
    • #7
    • 15th Apr 19, 10:34 PM
    • #7
    • 15th Apr 19, 10:34 PM
    Thank you to everyone that has replied so far.

    The solicitor group in question is Mortimer Clarke. Originally it was Cabot but despite dialogue being exchanged for months they obviously decided to cut their losses and sell the debt on.

    Quite simply put I need to be more aggressive with my communications. I have done everything possible to prove this debt is not mine and now it is on them to prove otherwise. They obviously wont do that, so the foot is back on their shoe so to speak.

    I just hope for a resolution soon. Like mentioned above this is now effecting my career which simply isn't on.
    • Exodi
    • By Exodi 16th Apr 19, 9:52 AM
    • 493 Posts
    • 611 Thanks
    Exodi
    • #8
    • 16th Apr 19, 9:52 AM
    • #8
    • 16th Apr 19, 9:52 AM
    However, you must approach this in the right way, the onus of proof is on the debt collector, not you, you need to send a formal written complaint to the companies concerned, mark your letter "COMPLAINT", also look up there complaints procedure on their website.

    Inform them that, whilst you do not deny the accounts in your name exist, you do deny that you were responcible for opening them, you believe it was another family member using your details, you have already provided evidence that you were not living at that address when the majority of orders were made, and on occasions you were even out of the country, so invite them to either, start court proceedings straight away, so the matter can be concluded to your satisfaction, or, remove your details from there systems and never contact you about this matter again.
    Originally posted by sourcrates
    The OP's suggests they were resident at the property during the time:

    The debt company making my life hell has confirmed that the accounts were opened whilst I was still living at the address they were created form.They were both infact opened within the last few months of me living there.
    Originally posted by bpobpo
    I worry that, aside from requesting video evidence of you holding ID to your face with one hand and placing an order with the other, what more evidence could the debt owner be reasonably asked to supply? Especially as Action Fraud don't seem willing to pursue this?
    Know what you don't
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